- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2013

Saturday marked the third anniversary of President Obama’s proudest accomplishment, his takeover of America’s health care. Advocates of this bold disaster vowed to reduce health care costs, increase consumer choice, reduce the deficit and “grow” the economy. Though Obamacare has yet to be fully implemented, it’s already clear those were empty promises.

The nation, or some of it, bought this bill of goods because we were told our health care system was in crisis. Premiums were soaring. Businesses could not afford to offer health insurance to their employees. Millions of Americans were uninsured. Scary stuff, and most of it was true. The scarier truth now is that our health care system is in greater crisis than it was three years ago because Obamacare compounded its manifold problems.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the San Francisco Democrat who was then the speaker of the House, said Congress had to “pass the [health care] bill so you can find out what is in it.” We soon found out. Big Labor fought for the legislation, and once the bosses found out what they had fought for, they demanded exemptions.

Union bosses have the clout to get favors from the White House, but ordinary Americans don’t. Most Americans will pay more, a lot more, and for less, sometimes a lot less. Health insurers are warning insurance brokers that premiums for individuals and small business will go up sharply next year. It’s because of Obamacare.

Doctors are worried. A new survey by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions found that more than 60 percent of physicians are gloomy about the future of medicine and that many are looking to take early retirement. A doctor shortage seems inevitable.

The scheme is taking a toll on the economy, too. Obamacare imposes expensive mandates on small companies with more than 50 employees. A growing firm with 48 employees will likely decide against hiring new help, to avoid the red line. Rep. Tom Reed, New York Republican, found out just that when he visited such a business in his district. “[The owner] said to me that because of this law, the Affordable Care Act, and its 50-employee threshold, and for the additional bureaucracy and requirements and taxes and penalties that Washington, D.C., is putting on that business, he will keep his employee rolls at 48.”

Though Mr. Obama said his scheme would not “raise the deficit by a dime,” the Congressional Budget Office says otherwise, projecting that Obamacare will add $1.4 trillion to the nation’s mountain of debt over the next 10 years, and $6.2 trillion by the end of the century.

“Nothing succeeds like failure,” Tommy Lasorda, the wise old baseball manager, once said. Only by the Lasorda rule can Obamacare be measured a success. Everything about the health care law has disappointed, and it’s likely to get only worse. Republicans must be creative if they are to shut down this boondoggle before we lament many more birthdays.

The Washington Times